The Ashes and the Star-Cursed King Summary, Characters and Themes

The Ashes and the Star-Cursed King is the second book in the Crowns of Nyaxia series by Carissa Broadbent. This fantasy romance novel continues the story of Oraya, who is now a prisoner in her own kingdom after the events of the first book. She grapples with grief, betrayal, and the uncertainty of her own heritage.

The story follows Oraya’s journey as she navigates the treacherous political landscape, dealing with the threat of the House of Blood and the challenges faced by Raihn, her Turned king. Oraya must also confront her past and harness an ancient power connected to her father’s secrets. As she faces these trials, she is forced to choose between her quest for power and a devastating love that could be her downfall.


Oraya, grieving the loss of her father, the Nightborn King Vincent, at the hands of her lover Raihn, now the usurper king, struggles with betrayal and newfound truths about her heritage. Raihn, facing resistance from the Rishan nobility, forms a tentative alliance with Septimus, Prince of the House of Blood.

Oraya, discovering a hidden communication device, orchestrates an attack on Sivrinaj’s armory while Raihn’s forces are diverted. 

Her plan backfires, leading to her capture and the revelation of her biological ties to Vincent. Septimus seeks her help in locating the remains of Alarus, the God of Death, for power.

Raihn proposes a counter-alliance to Oraya, seeking her aid in betraying Septimus and finding the god’s blood for themselves. 

Their journey leads them to Vincent’s homeland, Lahor, where they uncover Vincent’s dark past and Oraya finds a crucial clue—a crescent moon pendant.

Back in Sivrinaj, the nobles grow restless, leading to a celebratory event meant to unite them. 

However, Raihn is betrayed and drugged by Cairis, who sides with Simon Vasarus, a cousin of the former king. Oraya saves Raihn, and they plan to retrieve the pendant and rescue Mische, Raihn’s friend.

Their escape leads to an alliance with Jesmine’s forces to retake the throne. During the ensuing battle, they discover Simon’s enhanced power due to Septimus’s machinations. 

Oraya and Raihn narrowly escape death.

Seeking answers, they visit Oraya’s aunt, Alya, who reveals Vincent’s past love for Oraya’s mother and her own tragic fate. Alya gives Oraya a bracelet, completing a map leading to the god’s blood.

Following the map, Oraya faces Vincent’s memories within a temple and receives the god’s blood. 

Emerging, she witnesses Raihn fatally wounded by Simon. Instead of vengeance, Oraya uses the blood to form a Coriatis bond with Raihn, saving his life with help from the goddess Acaeja, despite Nyaxia’s disapproval.

Victorious, Raihn and Oraya unite the Hiaj, Rishan, and humans, receiving a hesitant blessing from Nyaxia as they are crowned King and Queen. 

The story concludes with Mische’s departure and a new era for the House of Night.

The Ashes and The Star-Cursed King



Oraya is the protagonist of “The Ashes and the Star-Cursed King” and the daughter of Vincent, the former Nightborn King. Initially believed to be Vincent’s adopted human daughter, it is later revealed that she is his half-human, half-vampire biological daughter. 

This revelation complicates her emotions and identity, adding layers to her grief and struggle after Vincent’s death. Oraya grapples with the betrayal by her lover, Raihn, who killed her father. 

Her journey involves reconciling her love for Raihn with her loyalty to Vincent, as well as coming to terms with her heritage and new role. 

Her character development is marked by resilience, bravery, and a complex blend of vulnerability and strength, particularly in her efforts to navigate political intrigues and personal losses.

Raihn Ashraj

Raihn is Oraya’s love interest and the new Nightborn King, having usurped Vincent’s throne. 

His backstory reveals a tragic history of shipwreck, near-death, and enslavement by the former Nightborn King, Neculai. This history of suffering and betrayal shapes Raihn’s character, fueling his desire for revenge and justice. 

His complex relationship with Oraya, marked by love, betrayal, and mutual struggle for power, forms a central theme in the novel. 

Raihn’s leadership is constantly tested by the Rishan nobility’s disdain and internal palace intrigues, revealing his tactical acumen, vulnerability, and deep-seated need for validation and acceptance.


Vincent, the former Nightborn King, is a pivotal character whose death catalyzes much of the plot. 

His complex relationship with Oraya is characterized by deception and concealed truths. Vincent’s ruthless path to power, including the slaughter of his family and the usurpation of Neculai, paints him as a figure of ambition and cruelty. 

However, his genuine affection for Oraya, despite his manipulative nature, adds depth to his character, showcasing a blend of paternal care and tyrannical ambition. 

His secrets and machinations continue to influence the story even after his death, particularly through the discovery of the god blood and Oraya’s heritage.


Septimus, the Prince of the House of Blood, initially appears as a tentative ally to Raihn. However, his true motives are revealed as he conspires with Simon to usurp the Nightborn throne. 

Septimus’s character embodies treachery and ambition, using cunning and manipulation to achieve his goals. His actions, including embedding the God of Death’s teeth and crescent pendant in Simon’s chest, demonstrate his willingness to exploit dark powers for personal gain. 

Septimus’s character highlights the theme of betrayal and the precarious nature of alliances in the power struggle within the House of Night.

Simon Vasarus

Simon Vasarus, Neculai’s cousin, represents the old guard of the Rishan nobility resistant to Raihn’s rule. Aligning with Septimus and Cairis, Simon seeks to reclaim power and tradition. 

His use of the God of Death’s artifacts to gain supernatural strength underscores his desperation and determination to control the Nightborn throne. 

Simon’s ultimate confrontation with Raihn and Oraya and his subsequent defeat symbolize the clash between old and new regimes, and his character serves as a catalyst for Oraya and Raihn’s final unification and rise to power.


Jesmine, Vincent’s Head of War, remains loyal to Vincent’s memory and Oraya. Her role in orchestrating attacks and her strategic prowess underscore her commitment to maintaining Vincent’s legacy and supporting Oraya’s quest for power. 

Jesmine’s actions, such as attacking the Sivrinaj Armory and allying with Raihn’s forces to retake the throne, highlight her tactical intelligence and loyalty. 

She represents the continuity of Vincent’s influence and the martial strength supporting Oraya’s claim.


Mische, Raihn’s best friend and a fierce warrior, adds depth to the story through her loyalty and personal vendettas. 

After recovering from injuries sustained in the Kejari, she becomes Oraya’s bodyguard, indicating her integral role in the central characters’ dynamics. 

Mische’s personal history, including her transformation into a vampire and her vendetta against the Shadowborn prince, enriches her character arc. Her actions during the castle siege and her decision to leave the House of Night at the novel’s end reflect her personal growth and quest for autonomy.


Cairis, an advisor to Raihn, initially appears as a supportive character but ultimately betrays Raihn by siding with Simon and Septimus. 

His betrayal underscores the pervasive theme of treachery and the fragile nature of power alliances. Cairis’s actions during the celebratory event, where he drugs Raihn to facilitate Simon’s coup, highlight his ambition and duplicity. 

His eventual capture and imprisonment symbolize the consequences of betrayal and the restoration of order under Oraya and Raihn’s rule.

Vale and Ketura

Vale, Raihn’s Head of War, and Ketura, an advisor, are loyal supporters of Raihn’s rule. 

Their unwavering support and strategic counsel are crucial in Raihn’s efforts to consolidate power and navigate the political landscape. Vale’s marriage to Lilith and the subsequent celebratory event intended to foster camaraderie among the Rishan nobles reflect his role in stabilizing Raihn’s reign. 

Ketura’s involvement in capturing Cairis and assisting in the final battle against Simon underscores her loyalty and strategic importance in the power dynamics of the House of Night.


Power and Corruption

In “The Ashes and the Star-Cursed King,” the theme of power and corruption is prominently explored through the characters’ relentless pursuit of authority and the consequences that follow. 

Raihn’s journey from a shipwrecked human to a Turned vampire enslaved by Neculai, and eventually to the ruler of the House of Night, underscores the corrupting nature of power. 

Raihn’s initial quest for survival morphs into a desire for revenge and dominion, revealing how power can transform and consume individuals. His betrayal of Neculai and subsequent rise to power highlight the moral compromises and ruthless actions often required to attain and maintain authority. 

Similarly, Vincent’s brutal path to the throne, including the murder of his family and his eventual betrayal by Raihn, exemplifies the destructive nature of unchecked ambition. 

Vincent’s relentless pursuit of power leads to his downfall, illustrating the cyclical nature of corruption where those who seek power through violence and deceit often fall victim to similar tactics. 

Oraya’s struggle to reconcile her love for Raihn with his betrayal of her father further emphasizes the theme, as she grapples with the moral complexities of power, loyalty, and vengeance. 

The novel portrays power as a double-edged sword, offering protection and control but also leading to moral decay and personal loss.

Identity and Self-Discovery

The theme of identity and self-discovery is central to Oraya’s character arc in “The Ashes and the Star-Cursed King.” 

Initially believing herself to be the adopted human daughter of Vincent, Oraya’s revelation that she is his half-human, half-vampire biological daughter shatters her understanding of her identity. This discovery forces her to confront her heritage and the truths about her father’s past and his actions. 

Oraya’s journey is one of self-discovery as she navigates her dual heritage and the conflicting loyalties that come with it. Her ability to use the glass bowl to communicate with Jesmine, her struggle to accept her Heir Mark, and her eventual realization of her potential as a leader all signify her evolving self-awareness and acceptance of her complex identity. 

The novel delves into her internal conflict as she balances her love for Raihn with her loyalty to her father, and her quest to find her place in a world divided by bloodlines and power struggles. 

Oraya’s ultimate decision to seek the Coriatis bond with Raihn, thereby uniting their fates, signifies her acceptance of her identity and her role in the broader conflict between the Hiaj and Rishan. 

Through Oraya’s journey, the novel explores the multifaceted nature of identity and the personal growth that comes from embracing one’s true self, even in the face of challenging revelations and moral dilemmas.

Love and Sacrifice

Love and sacrifice are intertwined themes that drive much of the character development and plot progression in “The Ashes and the Star-Cursed King.” Raihn and Oraya’s relationship exemplifies the tension between personal desire and the greater good. 

Despite Raihn’s role in her father’s death, Oraya’s love for him endures, and she ultimately sacrifices her safety and aligns with him to navigate the political turmoil in Sivrinaj. Raihn’s willingness to offer Oraya Vincent’s sword and his secret apartment as sanctuaries demonstrates his deep affection and trust, highlighting the sacrifices he makes for her well-being. 

Oraya’s decision to summon Nightborn wings and fight against Simon, even at great personal risk, further underscores the lengths to which she is willing to go for those she loves. The climax of the novel, where Oraya offers the god blood to the goddess Nyaxia in exchange for the Coriatis bond to save Raihn’s life, epitomizes the ultimate sacrifice. 

This act of love not only revives Raihn but also symbolizes the deep emotional and spiritual connection between them, transcending the physical and political barriers that have kept them apart. 

Oraya’s plea to Acaeja, despite the potential wrath of Nyaxia, further illustrates her willingness to risk everything for love. Through these acts of sacrifice, the novel portrays love as a powerful and transformative force that demands courage and selflessness.

Betrayal and Trust

Betrayal and trust are pivotal themes that shape the relationships and conflicts in “The Ashes and the Star-Cursed King.” 

The novel opens with a profound betrayal as Raihn kills Vincent, Oraya’s father, shattering her trust and forcing her to reevaluate her loyalties. This act sets the stage for a complex exploration of trust, as Oraya grapples with her feelings for Raihn amidst the political chaos that ensues. 

Raihn’s struggle to gain the trust of the Rishan nobility, who view him with suspicion due to his past as a Turned slave, highlights the fragility of trust in a world where power is often obtained through deceit.

The alliance with Septimus and the subsequent betrayal by Cairis, who drugs Raihn and conspires with Simon, further complicates the web of trust and betrayal. These dynamics reveal how fragile and conditional trust can be in a society riddled with power struggles. 

Oraya’s interactions with Jesmine, Evelaena, and Mische also reflect varying degrees of trust and betrayal, as alliances shift and personal motives come to light. The novel ultimately suggests that trust must be earned through actions and is often tested in the crucible of adversity. 

Oraya and Raihn’s journey to rebuild their trust, culminating in their joint efforts to retrieve the god blood and unite their forces, demonstrates the possibility of redemption and the resilience of trust when built on a foundation of mutual respect and shared goals. 

Through the characters’ experiences, the novel underscores the delicate balance between trust and betrayal in personal and political relationships.